Red versus Blue – Can we improve the world, are we stuck, or are we on a downward slide?

Date: Tuesday 27 December 2011 (overlapping till wednesday in some timezones)
Time: 2230-0000 CET, 2130-2300 GMT, 1330-1500 SLT (please always doublecheck!) (I am timezone dyslexic d’urrr)

Format: This is an RvB event. Make sure you understand the premises. This will be a non-voice event. I will be presenting a series of text-chat items and statements and may show slides. The format today is a presentation on my views and insights, and will be in the usual “versus” format.

Analysis: I will start with a very odd analysis, taking the problems posed by seasonal variation (in particular the effects of winter in northern climates) and based on the example I will give you all a very unorthodox mental challenge. Based on this challenge I will ask – are we interfering too much in nature? Should we know our place? Are we playing gods? Also – are we systemically damaging the very vitality of our species and driving ourselves in to desperation? Or is our technological and economic advancement often causing us to become a predator to our fellow humans? Should we stop here and not go further, in case we annihilate ourselves, and are analysis of the kind I start the event with (…) total madness? Note that the disparity between RED and BLUE today is especially stark and harsh as to foment fierce discussion.


Red: We need advancement. In fact there is still advancement, whether we believe there is stagnation, and there will be a steady stream of new inventions. In fact, try and stop new emerging technologies. We can’t. Attempts to stop research are about as damaging as possible, and will produce corruption, black markets and bad politics. People should be more free to do as they damn well please and there are too many rules as is. The problem isn’t technology and progress, it is stupid people. We need a means to stop unspeakable idiots interfering with decission-making.

Blue: We are going too far. STOP! As we introduce new technologies, we introduce exponentially more failure modes, and our human neurology just can’t kep up. Only a small elite benefits from the advancements and reaps the benefits, leveraging its power to tread upon the rights and gains of all other human beings. Our darwinist nature is not prepared for such an insecure world, and we need a more stable reality. There is NO reconciling rapid advancement of any kind and we most tread substantially slower. The convulsive events of the last ten years are a clear sign we are destroying the world, our biosphere and the human species. We must concentrate on conservation, a more resilient society and far more caution. The answer to the foil challenge is an insistent NO.

Donation: Please consider making a donation in Linden$ to the land host or to me. We have a tipping jar.

* A matter of value(s) (Or lack of it) …

Today’s event is part of a number of presentations in Second Life with a specific purpose. The purpose is to brainstorm specifically to speculate about near space industrialization. I discussed this before (last year primarily), so for some of you this is round two, and hopefully a more disciplined approach. As such please make as many constructive comments as you can, and try to limit any superfluous talk. Please pause all text chat chatter untill I have made these introductions. PLEASE TRY AND KEEP UP since I will be doing the introduction rather quickly. Also, I’d like to ask everyone to spam any newcomers with a transcript of the event untill this point. The introduction text is available in full here, as well the chat transcript later on:

Please feel free to tip my SL wife, Miss La Laser, (Laserhop Rothchild) for offering this land. She needs the Linden$. That means – search her profile and drop her some cash, since despite me asking her she still hasn’t placed a tip jar here. I did however! It’s that *beating heart* over there…

Of course you are free to say whatever you like, but I will reprint the text of the entire sequence of RvB events and mine the ideas all attending raise for a later presentation in Amsterdam. This presentation will (may?) take place IRL (live) in a few months in Amsterdam and I will use my primary to present the conclusions; as such that event will most likely be recorded in Youtube. These talks in SL will be linked to that event, and the plan of the team I am working with is to ‘interlink’ those Amsterdam events with SL (and potentially with Teleplaces), in cooperation with Giulio Prisco’s TeleXlR8 at

The premise for today is a bit jocular. In other words, it is a joke, but with a serious undertone. Not that the debate later on will work in several stages, each lasting 5-10 minutes. Also note that these debating stages will be based on somewhat constrained premises.

Five years from now. A private gigadollar investor has access to a combination to a combination of the following assets

(a) a paying affluent government part of which land mass is situated in a northern climate and experiences a severe winters;
(b) who has a considerable space program;
(c) who can more or less ignore the international public opinion, trade sanctions or UN complaints, since they have nuclear weapons and the following then happens, and have a tradition of unilateralism

(i) a new technology is developed to reduce the price of taking large payloads in to space for an affordable amount, and not necessarily by established means;
(ii) a new technology is developed that reflects sunlights from orbit to the Earth’s surface to Earth.

Now this is like silly science fiction. But it is in itself a rhetorical whimsical argument that I will leverage for several reasons.

(1) The first questions I will ask will be about the technical reality. What are the technical parameters of such a project. How can it be best done and what is the output.
(2) The next questions will be about the benefits for the hosting country. You all know which country I am talking about. Anyone has a clue? I will ask you to speculate on the reflective ability of materials, surface area of many small reflective micro-particles versus very large reflector arrays. I will speculate on possible orbits (I favor selfcorrective polar orbits of composites swarms of large numbers of reflectors connected by strands milar cabling) and how much energy will have how much economic and social benefits, respectively how big the benefitting areas “need” to be or “can” be to bootstrap these projects.
(3) the third questions I will ask you to ponder on fall out. If a country appropriates these benefits, would the temperature and light pollution effects cause international (or climate) problems? Of course a country such as Russia would have less interest in increased global warming….
(4) If this is possible, what else is possible? Might the “space tinfold approach” be an approach that is simply easy to sell to (somewhat mentally retarded) democratically elected governments and voters (it would even make sense to Fox News commentators) … Could we dare to proceed to change the rules? If we can change the ambient temperature by creating a second sun in the sky we should be able to effectively change the length of day in winter as well? How about no winter at all in certain areas of the globe? How about ‘designer tropical coasts’ where there are arctic zones now, with lengthy 16 hour day cycles?
(5) If the neighbors (or environmental agencies, or religious groups..) do not want this, what is the proper legal apparatus to agree on these matters? Right now if I were a trillionaire with an antigravity devfice (and an inflated imagination and narcistic ego) and I decided one day to do this, who would have the legal arguments to stop me? Right now the masses of humanity can laugh at all these ridiculous ideas safe in the confidence they are ridiculous ONLY because they are not yet technologically feasible. The moment they are the masses of humanity (and the conservative elements leading the world) have no alternatives to resorting to violent threats to stop any projects such as these.

Premise: We assumption it is possible to put enough reflective infrastructure in space in the next ten years to surgically reflect sunlight to key parts of the Earth’s surface to change the economic value of these areas considerably, possibly as much as exponentially; i.e. invest x, make as much as ten times as much profit.
RED: Anyone who can should. Is this really an argument? If it is possible to increase the geographic prosperity of a region this way, and a country (or investor) can, they should. Like, today.
BLUE: Working WITHIN the premise that such a prokect is possible what kind of arguments can blue put forth that such a project would not be *technically* feasible? Orbital mechanics? Light push? Sabotage?

Premise: The assumption is there is indeed an orbital mechanism that can inundate a region of land on Earth with solar illumination. Let’s take Sweden for example. Sweden hires russian launch systems (despite EU protests, let’s get to that later) in 2016. A year later a massive swath of geostationary sunflowers unfold, clearly visible all across the globe. These take sunlight and channel (focus) some of the sunlight to select areas of Sweden in winters, and Sweden sells the refraction light to New Zealand or Chile in their summer periods. We are talking a rather minor increase in relative energy per surface area – just severa percent per square kilometer; so if there is one square kilometer reflective myomer tinfoil in a geostationary orbit (which if properly folded would fit in a single large launch system) it might turn turn tens of square kilomters of earths surface in a summer climate every winter. A few dozen rockets, and you’d have literally a permanent rivera along the Swedish coast, year around, with tropical palm trees.
RED: Red will argue in favor of this idea based on the technical implementation and business plan arguments.
BLUE: Blue will argue against this idea based on the technical implementation and business plan arguments.

DEBATING: Stage Three
Premise: If this plan is implemented, the changed temperature gradients may have effects on climate patterns, wind patterns, animal migrations, plant cycles, insect spreading. Neighboring countries may experience light scatter and light pollution, as well as a change in weeather severity. Even if there is no change, there may be perceived changes. This may lead to conflicts.
RED: If the premises are correct the economic growth of such a project is a solid argument for undertaking such a project.
BLUE: The fall out of such a p[rokect would make such a prokect criminal. In fact it would be a good argument to be very cautious about undertaking any great similar great “three gorges” disruptive industrial projects. Humanity tends to fuck things up indiscriminately and callously, and the little people tend to fall victims.

DEBATING: Stage Four
Premise: Are we entitled to start experimenting? Are we as a species validated to get creative?
RED: YES.!/3348/geoengineering-is-it-time-to-hack-our-atmosphere/

DEBATING: Stage Five
Premise: The legal questions are troubling. Profit may not be suifficient argument; the mere fact of this whole idea being regarded as prideful and hubritic might cause it to be met with intense hostility. Plus, if someone develops these industrial assets in space, what else could someone do with such a space infrastructure?
RED: If someone implements these technologies, what are they going to do? Corporate investors aren’t UN members. If they buy a country that secedes from the UN, what will the UN do? Write angry letters? There IS no collectivist apparatus for protesting or dealing with these investments. Hence, anyone can do whatever they please as soon as it is technically possible. If you don’t loike it BOOHOO.
BLUE: We can not allow a private party or nation or corporation to own space infrastructures okf this kind and use them at their whim, and unilaterally. They can in theory engage in orbital ballistic bombardments and not be challenged. Hence, any such structures MUST become the collective property of a fully democratic world entity, and since that is pretty unlikely, they rathe should not come in to existence AT ALL. These technologies are simply TOO DANGEROUS. If someone tries this there must be immediate and swift police intervention. UN Bluehelmets.

I will do this talk again Saturday, and rewritten/simplified; the talk didn’t flow on topic properly and attendance was not very high. Was fun though 🙂

If you have any comments please email me